How does it work?
Local members of our community volunteer themselves to tell a true, seven-minute story about themselves on stage. Notes are not allowed and each storyteller just gets to tell one story (ever!) at Arctic Entries.
If you have a story to tell for one of the themes this season, you can submit your story through our website. The volunteers that make up the storyboard will assign you story coaches, who will meet with you to hear your story in person. Together, you’ll discuss your story, and the coaches will take notes from the meeting back to the larger storyboard. A few weeks before the show, the storyboard looks through all the stories that were submitted and tries to put together a balanced lineup of seven stories. One week before the show, confirmed storytellers will meet with the show hosts and story coaches for “rehearsal.” That’s a great chance to get even more feedback on your story and make any final tweaks before the show.
What makes a good story?
Every story is different, but here’s a few suggestions to get you started:
- Structure: Your story is unique, but nearly every great story has a clear beginning, middle, and end, all of which relate to each other. You should be able to identify those three parts in your own story.
- Stakes: The audience gets invested when what’s happening in the story really matters to you. What did you have to lose or gain?
- Timing: Seven minutes is short, and it doesn’t accommodate every type of story. Stories about well-defined events in which you know every detail translate well. Stories that span multiple years, much less a lifetime, can be very difficult or impossible to pare down into a seven-minute story and still keep the details that we all want to hear about. If your story is too broad, try picking one event or part of your story that best illustrates the point you’re trying to make, and think about just telling that portion.
- A strong ending You’ll see or hear a warning from the hosts at five minutes into your story, when you have two minutes left. Be prepared for your ending, but avoid wrapping up with a “the moral of the story is….” Instead, finish your story in the same way you began, with a final fact that signals the end to your audience.
The website for “The Moth,” a similar event where people tell true stories in front of a live audience, includes more valuable tips.
Will I be famous?
Arctic Entries makes no guarantees of fame nor fortune, but we’ll try to spread the word. If you’re selected as a storyteller, we’ll ask that you sign a release form allowing us to use photos and recordings from the show (did you know Arctic Entries is on the radio?). If you want to tell your story in front at a show but are uncomfortable with photos or recordings for any reason, don’t initial those lines on the form. It may also help to write us a nice note reminding us to warn the photographer before the show.
Can I volunteer to help?
Arctic Entries is completely volunteer-driven. Our logistical needs are constantly changing, but the one thing Arctic Entries always needs is help finding stories. If you’d like to become more involved in Arctic Entries, the best way to start is by recruiting storytellers for future shows. If you have access to unique communities or are willing to coerce your friends (or strangers) into telling their best story, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can my non-profit or educational group get free tickets to the show?
Arctic Entries saves a limited number of seats for members of the community who would not otherwise be able to attend. Here’s our very officially-worded policy.
Can you help my organization put on a storytelling show?
Yes! Arctic Entries works with all kinds of community groups in Alaska putting on their own storytelling events. However, as an all-volunteer organization, we’re sometimes hard-pressed to find people who have the extra time. It helps if you talk to us sooner in your event-planning process, and we generally limit ourselves to providing advice and some story coaching (i.e., it’s up to your organization to find the storytellers, arrange the venue, etc.). Please see our collaboration guidelines if you’d like us to help!